ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some would call it the ultimate deception. But instead of getting angry, an older Rockford man is thankful to know the truth. He went most of his life wrongfully believing his daughter was dead.
Behind all the joy of preparing for a baby, Charles and Stella Lutzow's marriage was on shaky ground. So they took a break, a separation that spanned two months and the end of Stella's pregnancy.
"I asked her what happened to the baby, she said it died in birth," says Charles.
Stella maintained her story, until she died in 2003. Charles didn't think otherwise, until last December.
"I got a call."
"I called and said hey, I found you, you're my daddy."
"I didn't know who the hell it was."
The Lutzow's daughter did not die during delivery. Instead, Stella quietly put her up for adoption. Forty-five years later, Keri Abercrombie found her father.
"I can't even put into words I'm so excited," she says.
Keri says she always knew she was adopted. She started fishing around online to learn about her birth parents. Through the Adoption Registry and Facebook, Keri found her brother.
"Told him hey, I think I'm your sister and he's like what, sister?
She's now meeting her extended family for the first time.
"We've been apart 45 years, now finally back together, it's a god-send," says Charles.
Keri grew up in Utah and now lives in Alabama. She actually moved to Rockford in 1985 to attend her senior year of high school at East.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A lot of families keep secrets and some secrets die with the eldest members. However, in Chuck Lutzow’s family one secret emerged 45 years later.
“I believed she was dead all this time.”
Charles Lutzow and his wife separated for 2 months in 1967. She was pregnant at the time and gave birth while they were apart. When they got back together, Stella told Charles the baby died in labor. That was a lie Stella kept until her death in 2003. She actually put their daughter up for adoption.
Their daughter Keri was the one to break the news when she found her dad, Charles, in December.
“I called him and said ‘Merry Christmas, I’m your daughter.’ He said, ‘Huh?’,” said Keri Abercrombie.
Keri lives in Alabama and came in today on a bus. She’ll be meeting her extended family.